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Let there be light!
Rattenberg


“The sun has stopped shining in Rattenberg,” the AP reported recently; winter darkness has gripped the picturesque Austrian town. But a solution, cinematic ├╝ber-villainy in sensibility and scope, has been engineered by Bartenbach Lichtlabor GmbH involving 30 heliostats, “essentially rotating mirrors, mounted on a hillside to grab sunshine off reflectors from the neighboring village of Kramsach.” And those 4 months of gloom and seasonal clinical depression may soon be alleviated.

But rather than illuminating the entire city, which would take a football-size mirror and basically would cover an entire mountain, Lichtlabor “plans to create about a dozen 'hotspots' — areas not much bigger than a front yard scattered through the town, where people can gather and soak up rays. The mirrors would also reflect at various times of day onto building facades to show daylight slowly turning to dusk.”

Rattenberg

More from Lichtlabor in a nearly year-old Telegraph article: “Sunlight brings security and a better standard of living. We decided that the light should come from above, not from artificial lights at house-level, and we decided to create an impression that the sun really is there.

“In the neighbouring village of Kramsach there is plenty of sun and so we can catch the light from the mountain there and send it to Rattenberg."

“The mirrors will be clustered to give the appearance of the sun and will be turned away in spring and summer to avoid confusion with the real thing.”

To repeat: to avoid confusion with the real thing.
5 COMMENTS —
  • Geoff Manaugh
  • December 7, 2005 at 1:20:00 AM CST
  • I was about to post about this thing! Agh!


  • Alexander Trevi
  • December 7, 2005 at 1:40:00 AM CST
  • Post it anyway. You had no post yesterday. And that's just outright criminal!


  • Geoff Manaugh
  • December 8, 2005 at 4:44:00 PM CST
  • It would have been in reference to that, yes sirree. But no more. Well, maybe I'll post about it anyway, I love this story.

    Can you grow plants by mirror-light?


  • Alexander Trevi
  • December 12, 2005 at 11:46:00 PM CST
  • I think a more interesting question would be -- what would you do if they can?


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